Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Book Arts Tuesday-Buckaroo Banzai & Book Art

You never know where a handmade book will turn up. Even in the weird and wonderful Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai which is my husband's favorite movie. As we were watching it last night for the gazillionth time, I noticed for the first time that his father was using a Japanese account book in the scene where Dr. Emilio Lizardo attempts to go through solid matter in the oscillation overthruster. By the way, the movie contains one of my favorite lines ever:

no matter where you go... there you are.

Here's a couple of photos of Japanese account book I have:

Here's how Japanese account books are described in Japanese Bookbinding: Instructions from a Master Craftsman by Kojiro Ikegami:

This simple yet distinctive ledger, called daifuku cho, is not seen much in Japan today. In the Edo period (1603-1868), however, it filled an essential role as travel diary, guest register at inns, and above all as a merchant's account book. Customarily embellished with characters for "great fortune" (daifuku), it aptly expressed the merchant's aspiration for prosperity. Completed ledgers were often strung together and tied with a long cord so that in case of fire—a common occurrence in crowded Japanese towns—they could be flung into a nearby well and later retrieved without damage to either paper or ink.

If you don't have a copy of this book and are interested in Japanese binding of any variety, I highly recommend it.

Rhonda Miller has written a blog post at My Handbound Books about making a Japanese account book from Ikegami's book.

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